Beware of DFI Impersonators
The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has received reports of fraudulent emails and phone calls that have the appearance of coming from DFI.
The individuals claim to work for DFI and occasionally use the names of real DFI employees. They try to trick you into revealing personal information, bank account information, and may even ask you to send them money.
DFI wants you to know that we will not ask for your personal and financial information via email. While we do contact residents about complaints filed, we never do so unsolicited.
If you are unsure of the legitimacy of an email or phone call from DFI, call our main number at 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About communication from DFI:
- DFI will not ask for your personal and financial information via email.
- DFI employees will always identify themselves by name. If you receive a call from someone claiming they are DFI employee and they fail to or refuse to give you their name, please call DFI at 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334).
- DFI’s official website is www.dfi.wa.gov. Any other web address claiming to be DFI’s official website is fraudulent.
- DFI employee emails all have @dfi.wa.gov in their email address.
Suspicious emails or phone calls: What to do
- If an email looks suspicious, do not click on links in the email or respond until you have verified the email is legitimate with DFI.
- If a suspicious email claiming to be from DFI asks you to call a phone number, do not do so until you have verified the number is a legitimate DFI phone number.
- If a suspicious email asks you to fax information to a number, do not do so until you have verified the number is a legitimate DFI fax number.
- Any unsolicited email or phone call from DFI or other business asking for personal and financial information should be deemed suspicious.
- Forward the suspicious email to: email@example.com.
Common phrases used in fraudulent emails or phone calls:
"Verify your account."
The Department of Financial Institutions and your bank or credit union will not ask you to send passwords, login information or user names, Social Security numbers, or other personal information through email. If you receive an email message from someone asking you to update your credit card information, do not respond: This is a phishing scam.
"If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed."
These messages convey a sense of urgency and trick you into responding.
"Your account has been comprised."
Again, these messages convey urgency and trick you into responding.
“Respond to have your funds released.”
These scams claim that you have money waiting to be released and that you need to reply immediately with your personal and financial information.
"Verify your bank or credit union deposit insurance coverage”
These fraudulent emails and phone calls trick individuals into revealing account information to ensure that their deposits are insured. To ensure your deposits are insured you should contact your bank or credit union, or contact the FDIC for banks or NCUA for credit unions.
Fraudulent email example:
Dear Your Name
Good Morning this is to notify you that we received instruction From Bank to go ahead and release the funds here at
We did the transfer on Monday, we have just received a stop order from,
Washington State Department of
150 Israel Rd SW
Tumwater WA 98501
PO Box 41200
Olympia WA 98504-1200
Scott Jarvis, Director
For further instruction on how to get your funds released to you, you are to Contact,
Mr. Scott Jarvis
As soon as we get clarification from the Department of Financial Institution the transfer will be effect without further delay.